Our culture is obsessed with the concept of productivity and fruitfulness, so much so that we now have apps on our phones to suggest us of what’s best next, and it is most often focused on the use of time that results in monetary benefit or up-skilling ourselves. It is a kind of “precious” commodity that is meant to satisfy us and bring a sense of joy and fulfillment. But the Bible has a very different approach to the use of time, one that produces spiritual growth, maturity, and see the need to ultimately glorify God and find our true joy in Him. In this passage, we learn what it means to live wisely for God during these times, and see what kind of fruitfulness He calls us to live.
Only Christianity as a religion teaches that God works out all things according to His will (Eph. 1:11) showing us that everything has a purpose and that all events occur according to the eternal plan of God. He ordains both the elect and a reprobate’s destiny. The doctrine of Providence also teaches that God is working out every detail of our lives such that He preserves, protects and sustains us in the path of righteousness forever…
Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
Jealousy is unhealthy craving of those things which the other person has, but envy is being astonished and feeling bitter towards a person who possesses something which you badly want. These two emotions are just two sides of the same coin. In this passage, we learn how envy, covetousness and pride poisons us and hinders our fellowship with God and His people.
As we enter into the new year of 2020, we often come with a sober reminder of things happened in past and things we hope would happen in the future. Our new year resolutions are filled with ideas and principles relating to prosperity either in terms of wealth, health or spiritual life; we want a rewarding life. In this passage, the Psalmist Moses reminds us of the author of our lives, which is God himself, who need to be acknowledged because our very existence depends on Him. Not only that, but our very destiny depends on Him. For Christians, God is their rewarding life!
In our first sermon on Deacons, we learnt that they take care of material needs or administrative work in the church. There has been sufficient focus on men leaders and their character qualities. In this passage, we learn about female deacons serving in the church, and the kind of character qualities they need to exhibit.
Suffering is a result of sin and sin dwells in our lives, our hearts and in our minds. Our culture often deals with suffering by trying to avoid it, not knowing the fact that suffering is the inevitable part of life. But the bible actually encourages Christians to face suffering with faith in order to grow in Christ and to draw closer to Him, because only God is the solution for all our sufferings. In this passage, we learn how to depend on the Lord in times of suffering.